April 14, 2004

Water, Water Everywhere, And Not A Drop Of It Good Enough For My Scotch

Expensive cask whiskies and water. No, not tap water! What are you, some kind of a heathen?

Laphroaig cask strength ($60) is incredibly fascinating in its combination of characteristics. With this whisky, you can add a little water at a time and enjoy how its nose opens and expands until you have reduced the alcohol to half its bottling strength.

Cask-strength whiskies are not exactly a new invention. Many very pricey bourbons are either cask strength or nearly cask strength. An old family favorite, Wild Turkey, is bottled at 109 proof, and while the alcohol is hard to overlook, the whisky itself is smooth and rich. Many upscale Jim Beam products, such as Booker Noe and Knob Creek are also higher in alcohol than the everyday bourbon.

Once you have the right water, neutral, whatever that means--perhaps it's Swedish, you'll need the right whisky, which you should be able to find at any decent whisky auction.

A highlight of the auction is lot 558, a 50-year-old Macallan malt.

Two other "gems" include the 1882 Bushmills Irish whisky in a hand-blown bottle with a driven cork, similar to that found in wine bottles. It is expected to change hands for about 1,100.

One of the most unusual bottles on offer is lot 601, a "black" Bowmore from Islay, a rich, jet-black whisky with infinite character.

Posted by Bigwig at April 14, 2004 03:47 PM | TrackBack
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